27 and a PhD

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One more down, two more to go

Welcome to my blog!

Hello there, awesome reader. My name is Dr. 27. I'm older than that now, but I'm staying faithful to the origins of the blog.

This blog started 2 months before completing my PhD in a pretty southern university back in 2009. It was a way to practice my writing and take a break from all things thesis. My PhD is in a branch of structural biology where I studied some rather impressive stuff.

After completing the degree, I packed my life of 6 years in 3 days and moved to Canada to do a postdoc in a completely different field. Two years later, and after attending a lot of seminars, workshops and doing some much-needed soul-searching, I ended up getting out and looking for an alternative path to academia and industry.

The blog chronicles my mishaps, ideas, musings and tips on entering, staying and finishing grad school. It also talks about some (or a lot) of personal stuff. For a while, the blog became a place to talk about the frustrations of not knowing what to do after PhD. I wanted to explore alternatives to the traditional paths of research (academia, industry and goverment) whilst going back to my field of training (if at all possible). Eventually a job materialized. Follow my quest as I navigate the waters of being a staff scientist at a core facility.

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Just a quick update. That loan from hell I was saddled with after my father lost his job? Yeah, got *finally* paid off last week. Do you know how that makes me feel? I feel like I’m on top of the world. I’ve been a bit passive about it, I’m still waiting for the debt cancellation letter to be mailed. I won’t really believe it until it is all signed and done. But for now, you better believe me when I tell you that a HUGE boulder has been lifted off  my shoulders. I should finish paying off credit card #2 in NOVEMBER!!!!! Then it’s onto the Godzilla of all my cards. The original one I got when I was in college WITHOUT needing my parent’s signature, or having a g-d job. That’s right, fucking recruiters form Bank of America were at my undergrad institution offering credit cards to every single kid. Kids!!! I was 21 years old at the time!!! WTF??? Seriously, I wish these leeches would be kicked out of every single higher ed institution. Sure, it help “build my credit.” But at what cost? My sanity, my mental well-being, a job I loved and was good at for a job that nearly killed me and which I haven’t stopped cursing at for the 2 years I’ve been out of (yeah, I’m still angry at my previous job).

I also have a tiny amount of money on my savings account (very tiny, just a couple of hundred bucks). I’ve been wondering whether to celebrate being rid of that g-d loan by throwing it into the pit that is cc #2. I recently used it to pay for a work trip, and when I get reimbursed (probably October at the earliest), that should take me even closer to having a 0 balance. I’m thinking of closing it (even though it’s been with me for 12yrs) and opening one with true, good rewards. But I know that as a recovering debt-addict, I need to keep my hands away from it. Freeze it. Burn it. Cut it … something so that I don’t rack it all up again and end up feeling like a failure.

Kids, if you’re reading this: read the fine print on everything you’re planning to sign for. Don’t give your signature to ANYONE. Not your mother, your sister, your grams or your BFF. If someone needs a signature for a loan? Yeah, chances are it’s too big for them to take it on their own to begin with, and you should be aware that your signature is as good as you taking the loan on your own, and even if someone’s credit is >800 today, it means nothing if they get fired, or go for disability and can’t keep current on their payments. I could’ve been debt free ages ago if I hadn’t co-signed that near death sentence when I was 25. I am 36 right now. I’ll be 37 by the time I’m done with this (universe willing!). I’ve been in debt since I was 21. It will take me more than 1/3rd of my life to become absolutely debt free. Be smart with your credit. Your signature is your most precious possession. Don’t give it out just ’cause.

And now, time to get ready for a lecture I have to do in not too long.

Cheers!

 

 

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